Friday, March 29, 2013

Argentine Pope from Colombia?

I bet Catholics in Colombia were ... we'll say excited... to see this.  Why is South America plagued with so many identity crises?  At least this time they got the continent right. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013


From the folks at "Minute Physics", who almost always include generously gratuitous images of the globe and mappy things in their videos, here's an entire video dedicated to geodesy and de-bunking the possibly-never-bunked flat Earth myth:

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

...that too...?

Greg Cravens comic strip The Buckets again exploring generational gaps. For something only tangentially related, here is a video of what teenager Bucket there might be like experiencing a video of childbirth.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Hail Columbia! two-fer

Did you know that Uncle Sam was not the first popular personification of the USA?  First, she was a goddess: Columbia. Invented in 1738 specifically for the land she would soon represent. Here's an article about it.  She has been warrior, protector, farmer, hostess, and more.  I like her a lot better than grumpy old Uncle Sam.  Here's another article with more pictures. And here are some of those images with maps in them:

WWI recruiting poster, which I find a lot more beckoning, and a lot less creepy, than the iconic Uncle Sam recruiting poster of the same era

Then there's this image of goddess Columbia "welcoming her favorite son" George Washington:
This is how I was first introduced to the image of goddess Columbia because I saw this image in a history textbook in a section either about Manifest Destiny or westward expansion...both of which are strongly geographic concepts, and this well-known painting has a panoramic map quality about it.  

I'm including this one not because that's Columbia, but because on the website where it came from somebody thinks that's Columbia and is trying to connect the image of Columbia to the occult and the Illuminati, etc.  When I was looking for map-related images of Columbia many sites like this come up where people are trying very hard to relate goddess Columbia to Armageddon or paganism or whatever.  That's kind of part of the reason why Columbia has fallen out of favor as a representational image of the USA.  That's also very silly. I, for one, vote to bring her roaring back into the USA's iconography 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Thursday, March 21, 2013

To This Day Project

Here is map-related clip from an anti-bullying video by Shane Koyczan done in the style of a poetry slam:
 Here's the whole thing:

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Opposite sides two-fer

Phill "Spratti" Spratt kicks off today's two-fer with a reference to global warming, flat earth, Atlas, and either Disc World's cosmic turtle mythology or whatever human mythology that may have derived from.  

After that, for some unbalanced balance, we have Bruce Tinsley's Mallard Filmore in full-throated climate change denial, as per usual:
If you'd like a refutation, it's here.

I'm not intending to do a monthly two-fer on climate change.  There's just a LOT of applicable material out there because... c'mon: global warming? It's almost harder to do a global warming editorial cartoon without using a globe. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Map Projection Transition: Interactive AND Animated!

What's up with map projections?  What do they mean? What would it look like to see them transitioning from one to another from the perspective on any place on the globe?

Jason Davies' Map Projection Transition interactive animation is AMAZING! Go and play with it now and forget about doing anything else productive for an hour.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Empire of the United States of America

After the Spanish-American War The Philippines was in the hands of the United States.  This was seen by some as a golden opportunity for international commerce with China, with Uncle Sam portrayed as carrying all that was great about Western Civilization and industry to the welcoming arms of destitute, backwards China.  That didn't quite end up working out the way this idealistic cartoon portrayed it... not least because of the 40+ year rocky US occupation of The Philippines and the fact that the view of China in this cartoon was rather presumptuous at best and rather badly racist.

Of course not everybody was so excited about the imperial ambitions of the United States: This editorial cartoon ran in a Catalan newspaper in Spain prior to the Spanish-American War. I can't figure out a translation for "fatlera" in the title, but the text underneath translates to "Keep the island so it won't get lost." But then again Spain complaining about anybody else's imperial ambitions is very much the pot calling the kettle black.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Maps in Calvin & Hobbes 15: My map is better than yours

We've finished with the secret-code/cartography story arc.  But that obviously wasn't the end of their secret code/cartography adventures. This Calvin and Hobbes:by Bill Watterson came a year after the earlier arc:

Friday, March 8, 2013

Map of Missed Connections

Where do people most often almost find love in different parts of the USA? Dorothy Gambrell published a map in Psychology Today showing where people looking for people missed each other on the “missed connections” section of Craigslist:

Thursday, March 7, 2013


The USA rendered in upright matchsticks by artist Claire Fontaine.  I wanna see this thing burn! But I can only find video (below) of Ms. Fontaine setting fire to her map of France. More detailed images here. (And here's her matchstick map of Italy)

I can only find an "after" photo, not the thing on fire:

So let's watch France burn instead:

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Bloody Balkins

The New Yorker magazine regular Michael Crawford is no stranger to using maps in his comics.  This is a depiction of a blood-soaked Balkins region during the bloodshed there in the 1990s.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Risk two-fer

It would be very interesting to learn how prominently the game Risk figures in the geographical education of most people.  It is almost certainly the only way most people know anything about Irkutsk and Yakutsk. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Maps in Calvin & Hobbes 14: Lose 'em

This is the third item in the story arc of Hobbes acting as cartographer in their adventure together to attack poor Susie.  It doesn't end well... which is to say it ends perfectly.  Calvin & Hobbes forever!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Alabama mpg

It's unclear as to why this message needed to be on a chalkboard in the shape of Alabama, but it's a funny message.

On a fun side-note, this is the 42nd state featured in this blog.  Only 8 more to go.  Help me find cartoons that feature maps of: Delaware, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, and West Virginia.